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Time to Change Food Brand??? and Other "Stuff"

Hi everyone.  I've been mia for a very long time and so much is happening in our house!  Our adult son has been living with us since November.  He has two children (ages 8 & 11) who stay almost every other weekend and a couple times during the week.  Also, his little Daisy Dog, Mojo is with us.  So, it's been a busy and hectic household!

So:  About his food:  Gizmo has had to go to the vet on a pretty regular basis to have his anal glands expressed.  I know this sounds gross, but I can always tell when it's becoming a problem - it smells, he licks a lot, and his stools are soft.

Does anyone else have that problem with their Doodle?  I'm thinking maybe he needs more fiber in his food.  We give him Purina Hi-Pro for Large Breed Adult Dogs.  This is what our vet recommended.  He doesn't eat much ... he's 74# and eats about 2 1/2 - 3 Cups total a day.  What do you think of changing to a higher fiber dog food (dry)?  I don't want to change just to be changing.

About Other "Stuff":  Gizmo is learning and sometimes is even showing signs of growing up.  We have been walking again, now that the weather is good.  Mojo likes to run in the house, so Gizmo thinks Mojo is his very own wind-up toy!  hahaha

We started Beginning Obedience class for dogs over a year old last Monday.  Most of this is review for Gizmo because I've been teaching him this stuff all along.  We are learning come, heal, sit and down.  However, the hand signals I use for down and come are not the "normal", but he has learned the new very well.  I have never used hand signals for sit, but he picked up on that immediately.  It takes him a while to sit because of his hip, though, so I have to learn to be patient and not rush him,  He was soooo good in class.  I really thought he would be trying to play with the other dogs, but he just ignored them.  He didn't even try to get to the people (which he prefers over the other dogs).  We do walk off-leash most of the time and he heals ok then, but he does better when he's on-leash.  He lags behind when he's off-leash.

He has developed the habit of getting on our bed at night and not wanting to get off when we come to bed.  He gives me an "evil eye" type look, curls his lip, and starts with a low growl.  The first couple of times he did that, he didn't stop with just a look and growl....he snapped.  Needless to say I had to smack his nose, grab him by the nape of the neck and firmly tell him NO - keeping eye contact continuously.  Then I dragged him off the bed, put him in sit, then down.  Then he got a pet and a hug.  We now close the bedroom door by 8:00 pm so he can't go in before we do.  He usually will go to the end of the bed and lay on the floor now.  He's learning.

Has anyone else experienced this, and if so, how do you handle it?

Thanks for all your insight and suggestions.  :)

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Comment by Pedro & Alessandra on June 29, 2014 at 10:28pm
Ooooh Cousin Gizzy, so glad to hear that you have a new food that you like and also that you have trained Auntie Jo & Uncle Terry to let you on your bed during the day and that you let them sleep on it and watch them from the end of the bed during the night. That's pawsome. I missed you! Loving paws from your Cousin Pedro
Comment by Jo Bill on June 29, 2014 at 11:06am

Update #2 .... We have totally switched over to Wellness Core Grain Free dog food for adult dogs.  He really likes it.  Actually, first we bought a smaller bag that didn't specify for adult dogs that he REALLY liked.  It had smaller pieces that weren't as hard.  We mixed it with his old food to transition.  He would "ask" for his food or eat as soon as I put it down for him instead of turning away and eating only when he felt like it.  We found the adult food and are giving him that one.  He doesn't like it as well, but still likes it better than his "old" brand.  He eats almost all of what I give him - leaving only a few morsels if any at all. 

His stools are still somewhat soft, but formed now.  He did have a terrible incidence (once) of diarrhea about a week ago.  Don't know what caused that, but it was only the one time and he's better now.  The funny thing, though, is that happened the weekend I was away and Terry was solely in charge of the dogs.  I guess it was pretty bad .... on the walls, carpet and tile.  Uck!!!!

I like giving him the grain free stuff, but it is more expensive.  But I think it's better for him, so I'm ok with the price.

We haven't had a problem with the "bed hogging" since that last time.  He goes into the bedroom with us at night and stands by the bed.  I tell him it's bedtime and make him lay on the floor at the end of the bed.  Now, he knows that's his place and will go there by himself and lay down.  He is allowed on the bed during the day and he knows that.  So, I guess we've reached a good compromise for all of us.  He's a smart boy!!!!

Comment by Harrison, Brodie & Kris on June 9, 2014 at 9:04pm

Good News.... Hope this works out for Gizmo

Comment by Jo Bill on June 9, 2014 at 5:32pm

Update on Gizmo's food/poo problems.  We bought a small bag of "Core" which is grain-free.  I think it also has glucosamine in it, too.  The pieces are smaller than the Purina Hi-Pro.  He absolutely loves this food.  We are introducing it slowly with his other food right now.  He used to eat maybe once a day, and then only when he felt like it.  Now he goes to his empty bowl and gives me a "look" so I will fill it in the morning.  He eats almost all of it - leaving only a little Purina.  In the evening, he eats when I put his food down, not when he gets good and ready.  I haven't noticed a huge change in the BM's, but time will tell.  I think this might be a good thing for him.

As for the "bed hogging" problem.....I'm just taking extra care to close the bedroom door before bedtime (7 or 8 pm).  When we do go to bed, he goes to the end of the bed and lays down on the floor.  He seldom gets on the bed with me after Terry gets up either.  (Terry gets up around 3 or 4 am sometimes cuz he can't sleep). 

I appreciate everyone sharing their thoughts about their Doodles.  Thanks ......... again.  :)

Comment by Pedro & Alessandra on June 9, 2014 at 1:14pm

So good to hear from you Jo and Pedro's Cousin Gizzy! So glad that the weather is getting nicer for walks and fun in the yard...

As for the "poo" problem and the anal glands, we've never had that problem with Pedro either. We used to feed him Royal Canin MediCal formulas and then switched to a grain-free Canadian made brand (Petcurean Now, large breeds) and we haven't had issues. He gets treats and 3 capsules of Glucosamine a day which the new vet asked if they were making him "constipated" (they don't) so I'm afraid I don't have any tips, other than maybe try high fibre, grain-free food or supplements that may help such as pumpkin puree?

Not on our bed because he doesn't even go upstairs unless we both go (he'll walk Daddy to the bedroom but if I'm coming back down to watch TV, he sighs and isn't too impressed, but comes down with me to keep me company) but Pedro does the growling and getting snappy when we invite him to join Glen and I on the couch. He has his own spot ("his" chair) but sometimes for cuddles we invite him to join us on the couch but it seems that if we're not both giving him attention, he gets snappy and starts growling/barking... so Glen gets annoyed and chases him off the couch... Again, not much help from me, just saying that our Doodles do seem to have similar character traits and habits.

And that's why we LOVE THEM SOOOO MUCH! 

Loving paws! We missed you!

Comment by Lorie & Piper on June 7, 2014 at 3:28pm

Jo...our doodles are like our children...was going thru my pics on my phone this morning, and you wouldn't be able to tell i have 4 kids...all my pics are of my sweet girl Piper (;

Comment by Jo Bill on June 6, 2014 at 10:34pm

Thanks for all your suggestions.  Lorie, we only have Gizmo's gland expressed by the vet and only when he's having a problem with it.  His stools have been very soft, but formed for the last couple weeks.  I'm thinking he simply needs more fiber in his diet.  I've never heard of Missing Link.  I'll do some research on it.  It IS very funny that we are talking about Poo.  I guess that's why I love this site ... nothing about our Doods is "off limits".  LOL

Comment by Lorie & Piper on June 6, 2014 at 12:05am

we feed piper kirkland's nature domain grain free salmon & sweet potato...have tried kirkland's nature's domain grain free in the other flavors, but noticed that she licks/scratches her bum hole with those, so will stick with the salmon flavor.  since i groom her & she has never been to a groomer, she has never had her anal glands expressed...i asked our vet if i should do it when i groom her, and he said "NO".  he said they shouldn't need to be expressed because the action of the dog pooping, naturally expresses their anal glands...maybe, it doesn't happen when the stools are soft tho...i don't know ): he thinks that manually expressing anal glands can somtimes cause problems ):   Kris is right about 'missing link' being high in fiber...we mix it in with piper's food too. Piper has always had normal/firm poops :0   dog's that are fed a grain free diet, poop less...piper's stools also seem smaller & dense since she has been grain free (:  when i take care of my friend's dog that is about the same size as piper, this dog's stools are large & bulky and look different than piper's...my friend's dog is not on grain free kibble.  too funny that we talk about POO...ha (;

Comment by Dianne and Dulcie on June 5, 2014 at 9:04pm

Jo, I just started having the same problem within the last 6 months with the anal gland thing.  It is a horrible smell, and usually crops up 2 to 3 weeks after Dulcie has been groomed.  She is on 4 Health dog food with is supposed to be very good and it didn't occur to me to change her food - might help.  She has never had soft stools though.  We also just did basic obedience and Dulcie passed, but by the skin of her teeth (too distracted by other dogs!).  We went today to another trainer for an eval, and to possibly continue with Canine Good Citizen training. Kind of pricey at $275, though, so we are mulling it over. The lessons are private, one on one.  Dulcie has never shown any aggression so am crossing my fingers it doesn't show up.   I am having issues with Dulcie chasing the Kubota  at my friend's farm and the UPS man if he drives up out there - the trainer says they can fix this, and if so it will be well worth the price.  I've missed you guys, so glad to know you were just busy! 

Comment by Jan, Lily & Nessy on June 5, 2014 at 7:38pm

Personally I prefer grain-free dog foods.  But then, I've never had a dog with an anal gland problem...  Purina ingredients seem to be a lot of corn/wheat fillers which I avoid.  My dogs have firm stools from their grain free diet, and perhaps that's why they don't have anal gland problems, or I've just been lucky.  lol ;)

As for the growling while snoozing on your bed - hum.   Gizmo has a bad hip?  Maybe he was hurting.  In any case, what I've done is have dog beds where the dogs are to go when told.  They learned it, and now, when I'm getting ready to take over the futon to watch TV (or nap ;) , they automatically head for their dog beds.  Having an approved alternative helps a lot.  Perhaps Gizmo has already learned his "spot".  You might want to get him a dog bed to reinforce the idea.  Just a thought.

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